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Balce, Alvarado triumph

Mik Balce immediately buckled down to work yesterday, defeating Elijah Frias, 6-0, 6-0, in the boys’ 18 and under category in the opener of the 1st Philta Presidents Cup Age Group Tennis Championships at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center.

With his mastery over Frias in the second round, the 16-year-old from Ateneo de Manila advanced to the semifinals against the winner between No. 1 seed Gabriel Tiamson and Rafaan Kabir, who earlier won over Ranz Javier via walkover.

Balce, also seeking to rule the boys’ 16 and under as its top seed, began his mission with a default victory over the no-show Javier during the tournament backed by the Philippine Sports Commission.

Justine Alvarado kicked off her campaign in the girls’ 16 and under with a 6-4, 6-3 triumph over Eliana Misa while No.2 seed Miles Vitaliano was impressive against Frenchesca Elise Cruz, 6-1, 6-0, in the 14 year old bracket.

Alvarado faces either Justine So and Kryshana Brazal in the semifinals of the meet, which has been institutionalized as an annual event in honor of the past presidents of the Philippine Tennis Association.

Stephan Lhuillier also entered the 18-under semis with a walkover win against Latrell Javier and will meet the winner between Jacob Peter Paulino and Justin Suarez.